Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives: Everything You Need to Know

Jill Robbins Avatar
Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Sun Siyam sign at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi
The Sun Siyam Resort Group has five resorts in The Maldives and one in Sri Lanka. Here’s what you need to know to book. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

The writer was hosted.

You know those swoon-worthy pictures of The Maldives you see on social media and vacation advertisements? It’s really that gorgeous in real life, and it’s a more approachable bucket-list vacation than you might think.

Here’s everything you need to know about booking a trip to one of Sun Siyam’s five resorts in the beautiful Maldives. This hotel brand also has a resort in Sri Lanka.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Maldivian island from the air.
The Maldives are a thousand times more beautiful in real life. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

What is The Maldives and how do I get there?

One of the most-asked questions I get about The Maldives is, “What country do they belong to?” The Maldives is an independent nation consisting of approximately 1100 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. Approximately 200 islands are inhabited, and of those, about 90 are resort islands, like the ones Sun Siyam Resorts are located on.

The beaches have soft white sand and clear, warm aqua water that’s perfect for swimming all year round. English is widely spoken at the airport and on the resort islands.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - View of Maldives from the Air.
One of the prettiest ways to see The Maldives is from a seaplane. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Getting to The Maldives from the United States isn’t complicated, but it is a long haul. Most of their tourism comes from Europe and Asia since the travel time – and cost – is substantially less. For North American travelers who can hack the ultra-long flight, the stunning scenery and warm seas at the end of the journey make it all worth it.

We flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to the island of Malé (pronounced Mah-Lay) International Airport with a stopover in Doha, Qatar. My flight from Dallas to Doha was about 14 hours – ouch, right? – and our flight from Doha to  Malé was about five hours. What happens from  Malé depends on which resort you’re staying in. Sun Siyam has a lovely lounge, and if you book a stay at one of Sun Siyam’s resorts, they’ll help facilitate your transfer to the resort. We flew on a Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane flight from Malé to Siyam World Resort, which took about 40 minutes. One of the best ways to see The Maldives is from the air – it’s gorgeous.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - View of beach and Jetty at Siyam World.
I visited The Maldives at the end of the rainy season, and the weather was mostly clear. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

High Season/Low Season

The high season is late November through April. This has the best weather and includes the Christmas and Easter holidays which are very popular and also the most expensive. Monsoon season is from May through November. You run the risk of the weather not being as nice or experiencing some rainy days, but you can still get a lot out of visiting during the rainy season. We visited in early October and experienced a couple of afternoon drizzles and only one truly rainy day.

Incredible deals and lighter crowds can be had if you’re willing to chance some rain. The lowest prices at Siyam World are from May through September, and the highest is during the Christmas and Easter holidays.

Different resorts cater to different vacationers

We stayed at three different Sun Siyam resorts during my 10-day stay in The Maldives, and each one had their own energy. I’m giving you a deep dive – pun intended – view of the three resorts we stayed at: Siyam World, Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, and Sun Siyam Iru Veli. I’ll give you my highlights and my assessment of what demographics I think these resorts are for but do your research and see what resort feels right for you. Also, check out the two Sun Siyam Maldivian resorts I did not get to visit, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef and Sun Siyam Ohluveli, to see if one of those matches your vacation vibe.

And yes, I have a favorite, and yes, I plan on checking out Vilu Reef and Ohluveli just to make sure I can provide a balanced assessment of what my favorite really is. Research, you know. Truly, the beauty and tranquility of The Maldives are under my skin now, and I can’t wait to make another visit.  

I’ve included a section on each Sun Siyam resort. Although the resorts operate under the same company and the accommodations are similar across the brand, there are differences in pricing, food, activities, and inclusion at each.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Welcome drink Siyam Iru Veli.
Guests are welcomed with traditional Maldivan music and fresh coconut water. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

A storybook check-in.

There’s just something glamorous about arriving at your destination via a seaplane. You’ll be greeted with traditional Maldivan music and a cold drink, and your butler will handle your luggage and make sure you’re set up on the free wifi and get where you need to be. It’s a seamless luxury that starts your vacation off on the right foot.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Patio of the overwater bungalow at Siyam World.
This balcony offers the best of both worlds – relaxing in your personal infinity pool or zipping directly into the ocean from your private slide. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Siyam World

Another question I’ve consistently received since I came home from my trip to The Maldives is, “Is it appropriate for families?” Much of the marketing materials for The Maldives have a honeymoon flavor, and it’s easy to envision this as an epic couple’s trip. One of the first things that struck me when I arrived at Siyam World was how family-friendly it is. I saw so many families having a blast together. Siyam World is a kid’s vacation paradise, and if your kids can handle the rather grueling flights to get here, it’s well worth snagging this as a bucket list family vacation.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Sunset at Siyam World.
Siyam World is Sun Siyam’s largest resort property with the most amenities. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Siyam World is the largest Sun Siyam Resort. It’s easy to navigate, and there’s a free trolley that will take you around the island if you don’t feel like walking. The vibe is upbeat, and you’ll see both families and couples enjoying their time here.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Trolley stop at Siyam World.
The bridges that lead out to the overwater bungalows at Siyam World are named for the world’s most famous bridges. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Accommodations at Siyam World

We stayed in an overwater bungalow with a slide and private infinity pool designed to sleep two people but Siyam World has a plethora of accommodations for groups of all sizes. Families with kids would probably be most comfortable in a two-bedroom or larger beach villa. Siyam World has age restrictions on kids staying in overwater villas with slides due to safety concerns, so keep that in mind when you’re on their website browsing their accommodations.

Prices vary depending on accommodation and season. A beach suite with a private pool that sleeps four for around $1,200 per night in June, which includes food for four people and alcohol for the adults. The room includes daily housekeeping and nightly turndown services. Items in the minibar are included in the room cost and are replenished once daily. There’s a more robust selection of toiletries offered than you’ll see in a Western luxury property, which I’ve found typical of hotels in Asia.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Buffet at Siyam World.
The buffet at Siyam World was next-level. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Dining at Siyam World

Siyam World has 18 – yes, really 18 – dining venues, plus in-room dining. Most, but not all, are included in the all-inclusive dining package. You will need to make reservations for the specialty dining venues. Whether you’re looking for tapas, French cuisine, authentic Italian pizza, or the highest quality sushi, you’ll find it served at Siyam World. Siyam World also has a wine cellar where you can book a private wine tasting or an elegant dinner.

My favorite at Siyam World was Tempo, the buffet. I’m not normally a huge buffet person, but this buffet won my heart and stomach very quickly. Tempo has offerings to please everyone from everywhere. I was particularly delighted to see the focus on Indian food at breakfast, which is where I began my love affair with the dosa, which is a crepe made of fermented lentils and rice stuffed with potatoes, peppers, and spices and served with coconut chutney. If you want a traditional Western breakfast or a British breakfast, there’s a little bit of everything on the buffet at Tempo.

Siyam World’s sports bar, KuhliVaro, is open 24/7, so no matter what hour of the day, you’re craving food and drink. Room service is also available 24/7 but is not included in the dining plan.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Coral planting at Siyam World.
I took part in a coral planting with the resident marine biologist at Siyam World. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

No “I’m bored.”

I have teenagers, and while they know better than to tell me they’re bored on vacation, I do consider that they like readily available and flexible activities when we’re on vacation. They don’t like anything super-structured but they like a variety of fun and challenging activities. Siyam World delivers for kids and adults.

Included activities are all non-motorized water sports, such as snorkel gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and Siyam Waterworld, the largest floating waterpark in The Maldives. There are also talks and workshops held by the resident marine biologist. I took part in a coral planting workshop during my stay at Siyam World, which was the highlight of my stay.

There are sports courts galore at Siyam World, including an international-sized soccer field, tennis and badminton courts, a basketball court, and beach volleyball nets. Equipment is available for loan. The use of the fully-equipped gym, including fitness classes,  is also complimentary, as is the use of the pools and beach chairs. Entertainment such as pool parties, DJs, and circus acrobat performances are also included. There’s also a kids club for kids ages 4 through 12 so parents can get some alone time.

There are tons of activities available for an upcharge, such as motorized water sports, scuba diving, horseback riding, art classes, spa treatments, private island excursions, and more, but if you’re watching your budget, you won’t feel shortchanged if you skip or minimize the extras at Siyam World. Your basic resort package will include a choice of two excursions, a snorkeling excursion and a sunset cruise.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - View from the Lounge at  Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.
Sun Siyam Iru Fishu is tranquil, easy to navigate, and ideal for couples or families with young children. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi is smaller, and the vibe is a bit quieter than Siyam World. We saw quite a few families vacationing with young children but no school-age children, although we visited during October when most kids were in school. The island is easily walkable and you can get to everywhere you want to be within 15 minutes or less.

Iru Fushi is a heavenly place for a couple’s trip. I’d hesitate to take my teens here. There’s a small kid’s club that is suited to younger children, and I think this is a great spot for young families seeking a chill vacation, but teens who want lots of options and other teens to interact with would probably be happier at Siyam World. You can take a speedboat from Siyam World to Iru Fushi – the ride is less than 10 minutes, and the resort staff can facilitate your transfer between resorts. If you want to sample two Sun Siyam resorts, this is a great way to do it, and family travelers can easily balance high-energy activities at Siyam World with more chillaxed time over at Iru Fushi. That’s not to say Iru Fushi lacks things to do, but the pace feels more relaxed.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Outdoor swing in outdoor bathroom Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.
Yes, my outdoor bathroom had a private swing. It was hard to come home. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Accommodations at Iru Fushi

Prices vary depending on accommodation and season. A  beach suite with a private pool that sleeps four ranging from $850 per night to $1300 per night in June 2024. The difference in price is what meal plan you choose. Guests choose between breakfast only, half board (breakfast and dinner), full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and all-inclusive, which includes alcohol and a 50 percent discount on in-villa dining, which is not included in any meal plan.

We stayed in a beachfront villa with a private plunge pool and a private, shaded cabana. There were also two cushioned lounge chairs on the sand for soaking up the sun. The best part of this villa was the indoor-outdoor bathroom. The outdoor bathroom space was as big as the room, and it had every luxury imaginable.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Buffet at Iru Fishu.
The buffet at Sun Siyam Iru Fishu had my beloved dosas. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Dining at Iru Fushi

The Iru Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual, tropical setting. The dining area floor is made of sand, which gives it a beachy feel. The buffet wasn’t as extensive as the one at Siyam World, which was a tough act to follow, but there are plenty of offerings to please most palates, with a focus on Indian and Asian dishes. There are seven other restaurants, plus lounges and in-villa dining.

When deciding which dining package to choose, consider when and how much you usually eat and drink alcohol. Iru Fushi is a resort island, and there are no other restaurants or businesses on the island. There’s no leaving the resort for a quick bite. If you want to augment your dining package with the food you bring in, keep in mind that you cannot bring pork products into The Maldives.

The small amount of alcohol in the villas (replenished one for one daily) is included in the room price.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Maldivian floating breakfast Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.
Pro-tip: Order this floating breakfast (the cost is about $80) as a brunch, and it will easily get you through two meals. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Floating Breakfast

Another fun option is to order a floating breakfast for two. This feast is delivered to your private plunge pool and includes tea or coffee, fresh juices, fruit, eggs, and other delights, depending on what you select. The tray in the picture includes delicious Indian food.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Beach picnic at Iru Fushi.
A snorkeling expedition followed by a beach picnic on a private island is a splurge but the experience is worth it. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Fun things to do at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives

Included activities are snorkeling – Iru Fushi’s house reef is fantastic – and one hour of kayaking and windsurfing per day. A license is required to windsurf, and there is a charge for instruction to get your license. Access to the badminton and tennis courts and the recreation center is also included in the price of your room. The recreation center has a variety of board games and video games. The kid’s club (kids 4-11) is also complimentary and kids get free ice cream daily at La Cremaria. Evening entertainment is also free.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Maldivian Cooking Class Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.
I learned a great deal about spices and curry-making at our Maldivian cooking class. Best part? We got to eat what we made. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Other activities you can take part in or book for an extra fee are motorized water sports, Maldivian cooking classes, tree planting, and various excursions, from private beach picnics to fishing to dolphin-watching sunset cruises. We did the beach picnic and private snorkeling expedition, tree-planting, and a cooking class and I recommend all of these. The cooking class is a great way to connect with Maldivian culture, and you get to eat what you cook. Maldivian cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine and is heavy on tuna and coconut.

And don’t skip the spa

The spa at Iru Fushi is a splurge-worthy tropical oasis I would have happily spent the day in. The intake includes a tray of cold jasmine tea and a refreshing cold towel. Then, you’re escorted by your therapist down a stone path lined with ferns to your own private spa villa and the most aesthetically pleasing spa treatment room on the planet. I’ve been to a lot of spas, and this one was next level. Although the spa treatments aren’t free, all guests can visit the spa for an hour daily for free hydrotherapy, a combination of hot tub, icy plunge, pool, and rest.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - swing sign, Sun Siyam Iruveli
Sun Siyam Iru Veli is an intimate resort catering to couples. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Sun Siyam Iru Veli

Sun Siyam Iru Veli is intimate and cozy in the very best way. There are only 125 total villas – a combination of overwater bungalows and beachfront villas – arranged around the common areas, which consist of the dining and dive centre/water sports areas. It is the most remote of all three Sun Siyam resorts I’ve mentioned, and this one was my favorite, which is not to say I didn’t love the other two for their unique charms.

Iru Veli doesn’t have the huge amount of choices that Siyam World has and is ideal for adults-only getaways or honeymooners. There are fun things to do besides soaking up the sun and scenery, but the atmosphere is very dialed down, almost zen-like. The resort is listed as kid-friendly and even has a kid’s club but I recommend considering another resort if you have kids, especially if the presence of other families with kids is important on a vacation.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - overwater bungalow Sun Siyam Iru Veli.
The overwater bungalow deserves every bit of the hype it gets. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

Accommodations at Iru Veli

Prices vary depending on accommodation and season. An overwater bungalow that could sleep four ranges from $900 per night to $2,000 per night. The price difference is what meal plan you choose. Guests choose between breakfast only, half board (breakfast and dinner), and all-inclusive. Remember, prices will vary based on season, number of people, and available specials, so you’ll need to enter your dates on Sun Siyam’s website to get a more accurate cost for your vacation. Depending on your dates and how far in advance you book, you’ll see different choices for room types.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Overwater bungalow at Iru Veli.
The interior of our room at Iru Veli was spacious and airy and we loved the creative welcome. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

We stayed in an overwater villa with a private pool and a king-sized bed. I loved the spacious bathroom and the placement of the tub where I could look out directly over the ocean while bathing. Everything about this setup was dreamy. There are more spacious and more luxe overwater villas and beachfront villas at Iru Veli, but I thought this was the perfect place for a romantic escape and I’d 1000 percent stay here again.

Dining at Iru Veli

Iru Veli has a buffet and two other restaurants, a grill and a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean fare. The bars also serve light bites, and the Fresh Water bar serves afternoon tea. The buffet breakfast and lunch buffet offerings are extensive, and local Maldivian cuisine plays a big part in what’s served. Nightly buffets are themed, but guests can always find the comfortable basics.

There are three dining packages to choose from at Iru Veli – breakfast only, half board (breakfast and dinner), or all-inclusive. I recommend the all-inclusive. There’s nowhere else to go for breakfast and dinner and there are some nice non-food perks in the all-inclusive package. The all-inclusive package includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, and alcohol.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Mango growing on Iru Veli’s farm island.
Guests who stay at Sun Siyam Iru Veli can opt to tour one of the resort’s farm islands. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

What to do at Iru Veli

Iru Veli is the perfect laid-back place to relax by the water, either on the beach or at one of the resort’s pools. That isn’t to say there aren’t other activity choices but this is your ideal resort if you’re big on relaxing.

There are motorized and non-motorized water sports, snorkeling excursions, and sunset cruises. You can also tour Iru Veli’s organic farm which is located on another island. Sustainability is a big deal in The Maldives. Food and other goods are expensive to import and they grow as much of their produce as possible, and the short boat road to the farm island is a fun and authentic experience.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Ocean Spa Sun Siyam Iru Veli
Iru Veli’s Ocean Spa is tucked into a series of overwater bungalows. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

If you enjoy snorkeling, the house reef is excellent. I saw sharks, sea turtles, and loads of colorful fish. If you’re not a strong swimmer I recommend you go during low tide when the water is shallower and gentler. You can also snorkel off the beaches and the overwater villas and see many fish, sharks, and rays. The sharks are juveniles and not dangerous.

The spa at Iru Veli is housed in the bungalow area and has a variety of massages, facials, and other body treatments. Some of the spa treatment rooms have clear panels built into the floor so guests can enjoy ocean views during their massage. The all-inclusive package includes spa credit (which can be swapped for scuba credit), motorized water sports credit, and complimentary excursions.

Sun Siyam Resorts Maldives - Sun Siyam Lounge at Male International Airport.
The Sun Siyam Lounge is a fantastic place to relax before your seaplane flight to your resort. Photo credit: Jill Robbins.

The Sun Siyam Lounge

Sun Siyam will facilitate your transportation between the airport and whatever resort you choose. The Sun Siyam Lounge is located in the seaplane terminal, which is a short bus ride away from the main terminal.

We checked in at the Sun Siyam desk after we cleared customs, and the Sun Siyam team took over from there. They got us checked in for our seaplane flight and escorted us to their private lounge until it was time to board our flight. The lounge has indoor and outdoor seating, cold and hot drinks, and a snack buffet. There’s also a kid’s play area and a massage room that offers complimentary back and shoulder massages.

The Ultimate Bucket List Vacation

Sun Siyam Resorts offers easy luxury and unmatched natural beauty that’s worth flying around the world to experience. Whether you’re looking for the perfect spot for a romantic escape or somewhere unique for your next family vacation, there’s a Sun Siyam Resort that will check the box for your perfect trip.

Jill Robbins is a freelance writer covering lifestyle, travel, health, and commerce. Her writing has appeared in SheKnows, HuffPost, Tripsavvy, Insider, AARP, and other publications. Jill lives in San Antonio with her husband and two youngest kids, although she’s usually somewhere else. You can find out what Jill is up to by reading her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals.
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